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Mar 27, 2009

Turn off your light for earth hour this Saturday

Story PictureBut before the Central Americans huddle with the U.S., the world is being asked to turn off the lights this Saturday for one hour as a part of the annual Earth Hour Initiative. With climate change becoming a growing concern, Earth Hour is aimed at reaching out to communities to take small steps to mitigate the effects of the global phenomenon. The project started in 2007 as an agreement between World Wildlife Fund and Sidney Australia; two million persons participated in its first year. In 2008, the effort spread and people from thirty-five countries and three hundred and seventy cities turned off their lights. Climate Change Officer at the W.W.F., Nadia Bood, appeared on Open Your Eyes this morning along with U.B. Lecturer Doctor Elma Kay to talk about the initiative and she told us that this year the number of participants is even higher.

Nadia Bood, Climate Change Officer, W.W.F.
“For this year we have set a benchmark of one thousand cities and we’re reaching out to at least a billion people and we’re asking them to vote and the way we hope to count the amount of people that commit to the cause would be if they sign up on to the Earth Hour webpage and vote and put your name and put the country you’re from. Up until yesterday, we had commitment from two thousand, eight hundred and forty-eight cities ad eighty-two countries, which is really good. We already surpassed the bench line for the amount of cities that we wanted—the number of cities that we had hoped would participate. But essentially what we hope to achieve by Earth Hour is the response and the voting when tallied, will be presented to world leaders at the global Climate Change Conference scheduled for December in Copenhagen, Denmark. We’re trying to appeal to these policy makers for them to put this act in place to try and combat climate change, whether it be through mitigation or adaptation.”

Dr. Elma Kay, Lecturer, University of Belize
“The idea is to turn off your electric lights but I think the whole idea is to show solidarity and that you care by not using electricity. You can go above and beyond just turning off your lights, but taking out your switches.”

“The U.B. Environmental Club is spearheading the effort in Belmopan, then they will be having a torch run, they are also telling everybody on campus, they have been posting flyers, talking to people, they put up a banner at the entrance of Guanacaste. So you’ll see it; it says “Turn Off Your Electric Lights on March twenty-eighth”. Actually, in all the towns you should see these banners. Galen University is taking up the effort in San Ignacio and Benque and they’re going door-to-door getting people to sign up and in Corozal we’re having a candle light walk during the Earth Hour. In Dangriga, they are also doing efforts.”

Earth Hour is from eight-thirty to nine-thirty this Saturday night.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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